Key to a Bright Future Scholarship

Congratulations to our Scholarship Winners!

The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz would like to congratulate our Scholarship winners. Our goal was to help minimize the financial burdens of pursuing a higher education, and through our scholarship, we have found a new way we can serve our community.

The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz would like to thank all who applied. Please check our blog and Facebook page for announcements and other scholarship opportunities.

2020 Co-Winning Entry

"With only 24 hours in a day and all this and much more that I want to do, I need to manage my time, prioritize my commitments, and ensure that I stay productive."

- Raj P., 2020 Scholarship Co-Winner

Short Essay

In today’s 24/7 society, being busy has become common. Throughout my early years of high school, my motto was to always stay busy, as if the mere notion of having work to do at all times would propel me forward on the path towards pursuing my barely thought out goals. Going forward to now, in my senior year of high school, I’ve dedicated myself to my combined passions of finance and healthcare. Just recently, I was accepted to my top choice school, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

"By frequently switching tasks through breaks, or even giving my mind time to rest, I am able to keep my brain fresh, increase creativity, and reduce mental fatigue, allowing me to continue to work without feeling the need to procrastinate or take a long nap."
- Raj P.

Throughout my high school career, I’ve involved myself in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, been employed as a lifeguard, and challenged myself by taking the most rigorous coursework at my school. Whether my time is taken up by my duties as State President of Nevada DECA, team captain of the varsity chess team, organizing leadership conferences for over 1000 students, or practicing traditional Indian dance, I never let my schoolwork be put on the backburner. With over 12 AP courses throughout high school, and countless honors courses, homework takes up another large chunk of my time. In addition, I’ve also volunteered for over 100 hours at the Veterans Affairs Hospital Emergency Department, won many speech and debate tournaments, tutored students for standardized tests, and won National History Day and We the People competitions.

With only 24 hours in a day and all this and much more that I want to do, I need to manage my time, prioritize my commitments, and ensure that I stay productive. Early on in high school, I struggled with procrastination, always opting for immediate satisfaction through playing video games or watching Netflix, rather than using time wisely to learn and complete my homework. As I continued through high school and required more time for learning, I adapted, and slowly, very slowly, figured out ways to combat my procrastination and manage my time with the help of learning some psychology.

The first technique that I learned was suggested by a teacher, called the Pomodoro technique. It involves cycles of 25 minutes of work, followed by a 5-minute break, followed by a longer 15-30 minute break every 4 cycles. By frequently switching tasks through breaks, or even giving my mind time to rest, I am able to keep my brain fresh, increase creativity, and reduce mental fatigue, allowing me to continue to work without feeling the need to procrastinate or take a long nap. The immense flexibility of the method also allows me to adapt it to any time frame or project that I need to complete.

"By learning how to keep a proper work-life balance now, I’ll be able to limit my stress in my future career, relationships, and life in general."
- Raj P.

My second technique is to prioritize work that is most important, especially if a due date is close by, or if I need to tackle a giant project such as organizing a leadership conference. For example, when preparing for the international DECA competition (I competed in Principles of Finance and Business Finance Services, winning 5th place internationally in both 2017 and 2019), I ensured that I prioritized homework first, as the due dates were generally closer than the date of the conference. However, to find some semblance of balance within my life, I always dedicated at least 15 to 30 minutes each day to learn more about finance, and around an hour each day to relax, decompress, or otherwise enjoy myself.

But how is this balance helping me find the key to a brighter future? Why is balance so important? In my future career as an investment banker or business consultant, I’m likely to find long working hours in high stress environments that can cause even the best of us to burn out quickly without taking proper precautions. By learning how to keep a proper work-life balance now, I’ll be able to limit my stress in my future career, relationships, and life in general. I won’t burnout as quickly. I’ll be more productive. I’ll be able to work harder, make fewer mistakes, and enjoy my life. And, most importantly, I will be able to have the key to a brighter future, because all that a brighter future entails for me is the continued happiness and good health of both myself and my family, which would not be possible without my continued dedication to time management and pursuing my passions.

- Raj P.


2020 Co-Winning Entry

"As I got older and went through high school, I found myself focusing on my most important activities first and squeezing in others where I could."

- Julia T., 2020 Scholarship Co-Winner

Short Essay

I've always been the type of person who likes to stay busy. Even taking a day off makes me feel unproductive. So, it’s no surprise that I would often spend ten or more hours at my high school a day. Between a heavy course load of honors and AP classes, and a plethora of extracurricular activities, I definitely avoided having downtime.

"I saw how I could use my organizational and leadership skills to affect my community and possibly sew a seed of educational curiosity in the next generation of students."
- Julia T.

What has been the key to balancing all of this? While it hasn’t been easy, for me, it’s all been about prioritization. Although I like to be involved with a lot of different activities, I had to learn how to prioritize which ones were important to me. As I got older and went through high school, I found myself focusing on my most important activities first and squeezing in others where I could. Every Monday after school was set aside for trivia club, while Saturday mornings were for Girl Scouts meetings. Although, I wasn’t afraid to make new activities fit if I was passionate about them.

During my senior year, I was in charge of putting together the Haunted Physics Lab, an annual event that our school hosts showcasing Halloween-themed science projects to young children to help foster an interest in STEM. When my physics teacher asked me to take on this leadership role, I sensed it would be no easy task. Still, I knew that the goal of inspiring kids was a worthwhile cause I wanted to spend my time on.

And time I spent, with countless hours after school running meetings to help student volunteers learn their science projects. I emailed dozens of people to get a student band to play live music and a local ice cream store to give out samples at the event. I even sacrificed my precious lunches and after school time to set out tables and tape down extension cords.

"If I’ve learned anything in my psychology class, it’s that getting enough sleep is essential for your mental, physical, and intellectual health."
- Julia T.

The day of was an anxiety-filled flurry of setup, but the Haunted Physics Lab went off without a hitch. Despite the stress, it was all worth it when I heard kids laughing and smiling and saying, “I want to try this one!” I saw how I could use my organizational and leadership skills to affect my community and possibly sew a seed of educational curiosity in the next generation of students.

Still, my schoolwork always came first. As soon as I got home, I’d sit down to finish my math homework or write my English essay. Setting aside time specifically for schoolwork first ensured that I wasn’t staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish my assignments.

Like anything else, I budgeted out my time for sleep. If I’ve learned anything in my psychology class, it’s that getting enough sleep is essential for your mental, physical, and intellectual health. Yet, it can often be overlooked in an attempt to accomplish more. Personally, sleep is and will always be a priority that helps me balance everything else.

This method of prioritization has served me well, and I believe that it will continue to help me succeed. Being able to balance my school life and extracurricular pursuits helped me get into my dream school, Brown University. Next year, I plan to attend Brown and pursue a double major in Portuguese and Brazilian studies and another area that I will discover once I’m there. I will have to continue balancing and prioritizing in order to achieve a double major at a school with such academic rigor. On top of my academics and extracurriculars at college, I will also have a job on campus to assist in paying for college. So, I will have to continue my prioritization methods to be able to succeed. Although it will be a lot to manage, I’m excited to rise to the challenge. After all, I like to keep busy!

- Julia T.


2019 Co-Winning Entry

"Law is a topic that motivates me to think differently and pushes my mind to explore new options."

- Lauren B., 2019 Scholarship Co-Winner

Short Essay

My biggest passion lies within judicial courtrooms. Ever since I was six years old, I have attended court and watched my father argue his most crucial cases. He is an Assistant Attorney General for Connecticut and I have shadowed his position throughout my childhood and young adulthood.

"I’ve helped build a wastewater system in the Dominican Republic, sung Christmas carols at a local nursing home, volunteered at the Block Island Fire Department, and taught English to children living in Laos, Asia (just to name a few)."
- Lauren B.

When he comes home from work and tells me about his day, I am fascinated by each case he describes to me because of its complexities and interesting stories. After his descriptions, I question him on how he is going to form his legal position for a particular case and anticipate what the other side would argue. I would use this scholarship to increase my passion for law by completing my undergraduate with a pre-law track and then eventually law school. This scholarship would put me one step closer to achieving my dream job.

Law is a topic that motivates me to think differently and pushes my mind to explore new options. From being exposed to my Dad’s profession, I’ve realized that lawyers need not always think the same way, but rather through different perspectives. I want to challenge my mind to these new dimensions and see what happens. I am also passionate about people getting the justice they deserve. Morally, I know there is a right and a wrong. Perhaps with my passion for the law, I can contribute in situations where people need it defined the most.

In the future, I see myself as a leader for social change. My main goal is to become more involved in local and global communities in a way where I can tie in my passion for law and civic engagement. I have participated in many satisfying volunteer projects, either at my school or abroad. For example, I’ve helped build a wastewater system in the Dominican Republic, sung Christmas carols at a local nursing home, volunteered at the Block Island Fire Department, and taught English to children living in Laos, Asia (just to name a few). Although these activities were all during my high school years, and shaped me as the person I am today, I am ready to see how a competitive college education can push me through more activities like these.

"Morally, I know there is a right and a wrong. Perhaps with my passion for the law, I can contribute in situations where people need it defined the most."
- Lauren B.

I’ve also been in many situations where I have embraced arguing and proving my stance on a controversial issue. I know both of these hobbies are things I want to be a part of for the rest of my life, hobbies I want to make a profession out of.

As for my career, I plan to study very hard in school, become a lawyer, and associate with a non-profit organization or other volunteer program. Arguing cases for mistreated youth or adults would not only be rewarding and satisfying to me, but also inspiring to those whom I represent. After receiving a competitive college education and finishing law school, I plan to use my position to help those who need it most, both globally and locally. Hopefully at the end of my life, I will feel fulfilled knowing I was able to touch multiple people through doing two things I love.

- Lauren B.


2019 Co-Winning Entry

"When you are not tweeting or double-tapping, it is crazy how much more work you can accomplish."

- Haley R., 2019 Scholarship Co-Winner

Short Essayn

If one were to ask my teachers or classmates to describe me, they would use the term “high achieving.” I do not find myself exaggerating when I say high school is my second home. Senior year found me as captain of the tennis team, captain of the law team, editor of the school newspaper, secretary of the National Honor Society, and the stage manager of the drama club; clubs which I have been a part of for four years. All of this, while upholding a job as a paid tutor and maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A.

"Nothing gets left to the last minute; and when I manage my time, I never have to experience any of the dreadful and useless all-nighters or the horrible feeling that you’ve barely studied."
- Haley R.

So, like Sheryl R. Rentz, I stay busy. Yet my answer to success is time management. Every person will tell you this phrase and in the end, it is true. With only twenty-four hours in a day, it is necessary for me to be aware of how long any assignment takes. Math homework lasts thirty minutes, tennis practice two hours. If I have a busy evening, I try to get more done during the school day. It is how I use my time that enables me to be productive.

Time management also means planning. Each Sunday night, I organize my week. If I have a test on Wednesday, I am sure to allocate time for studying on both Monday and Tuesday. Nothing gets left to the last minute; and when I manage my time, I never have to experience any of the dreadful and useless all-nighters or the horrible feeling that you’ve barely studied. When I’ve been studying all week, fears of failing typically are alleviated (unless it is calculus!).

Another aspect of time management is eliminating distractions. Instagram and Snapchat are major time-killers and ones you can’t necessarily prepare for on your to-do list. While certainly a struggle, I have learned to put my phone down. Besides turning off all social media notifications, I have adapted to placing my phone far away while I complete academic activities. When you are not tweeting or double-tapping, it is crazy how much more work you can accomplish.

"If I had to figure out how to solve an intense quadratic equation in addition to doing schoolwork, I would not survive. That is why I pack my schedule with activities I hold a passion for; activities I enter with excitement."
- Haley R.

Finally, while time management is the main way to ensure a balance, doing activities I love has certainly helped. For one, I did not write my first paragraph explaining how I was on the math team or the gymnastics team, or how I complete science experiments in my spare time. Besides not even being able to touch my toes, these are all activities which I dislike. If I had to figure out how to solve an intense quadratic equation in addition to doing schoolwork, I would not survive. That is why I pack my schedule with activities I hold a passion for; activities I enter with excitement. I don’t see tennis practices or newspaper editing sessions as a burden. As a result, I don’t feel overwhelmed. If anything, these activities are my stress reliever so upholding a balance is easy.

Ultimately, I am the principal of my own life. I stay busy, yet happy, by doing what I love. I know I will take this ethic with me to college and the future. As for my future, I will consider it successful when I am able to combine what I enjoy with work. By dedicating time to different activities and knowing what activities I already love, I know my dreams will come true. Balance comes when work and play can co-exist. High school has taught me I can still Snapchat my cake and eat it too. I know in the future I can continue to be high-achieving by keeping my planner, playing tennis, and being sure to avoid chemistry.

- Haley R.


2018 Winning Entry

"I believe that if you are able to impact one person's life, you have been able to make a world of difference to that person."

- Julie D., 2018 Scholarship Winner

Introduction

"Beyond working in America, I have a strong desire to continue to go on medical mission trips."
- Julie D.

Iam currently working as a child life specialist at a children's hospital. My job is to help children better cope with hospitalization through providing education, play, emotional support, and procedural support. Although I love my job, after working in the hospital for a while, I began to feel a call to go into nursing. I want to be able to have a more active role in helping to heal children and support families. I have been accepted into an accelerated BSN program at the University of Florida, which is so exciting, but the next step is figuring out how I will be able to afford nursing school. My goal is to be able to pay for nursing school without going into debt, but that will require some help from scholarships.

Short Essay

My future goal is to be a nurse in pediatrics and be able to be active in providing medical and emotional support to patients and families. Nursing is a career that I cannot pursue without additional education. A college education not only provides me with the opportunity to learn about nursing and caring for patients, but also innumerable life lessons that are priceless. I am a nontraditional student in that I am returning to college for my second bachelor's degree. I think the fact that I am older will allow me to better value this experience and respect the opportunity that I have been given.

"I don't think leaving your mark on the world has to be some huge thing where your name is known throughout humanity."
- Julie D.

As I have begun to think more about what I want my nursing career to look like, I think that I want to be in emergency medicine. I like the fast pace, but I also love the idea of being there in the midst of the chaos and stress and providing the lifesaving care that a patient needs. The joy that I feel is that I am not concerned about making the wrong decision after graduation when it comes to applying for jobs. With additional education, I am provided the opportunity to explore other areas of nursing and learn where I fit the best. I think that is the great thing about medicine, that there are so many opportunities and routes that you can take.

My goals to become a nurse are rooted in the desire to help and serve others. I don't think leaving your mark on the world has to be some huge thing where your name is known throughout humanity. Instead, I believe that if you are able to impact one person's life, you have been able to make a world of difference to that person. Thus, I want my mark on the world to be one of reaching individuals and supporting them through stressful, scary, and difficult times. I want to walk with families through the end of their child's life and provide support, to help parents understand how to care for their child with complex medical needs, and to bring a light of joy and peace into an experience that can be stressful and overwhelming. Nurses make an impact that no one else is able to because they are on the front lines of a patient's care, and that is what I want to do.

"I have been on six trips thus far to the Dominican Republic through Medical Ministries International (MMI). Each trip has been an eye-opening experience and truly humbling."
- Julie D.

Beyond working in America, I have a strong desire to continue to go on medical mission trips. I have been on six trips thus far to the Dominican Republic through Medical Ministries International (MMI). Each trip has been an eye-opening experience and truly humbling. One of my first thoughts when I decided to pursue nursing was, I will be able to be a nurse on the next trip through MMI. On every trip that I have been on through this organization, they have needed more nurses, and I am overjoyed at the thought of being able to help meet this need. I think it is important to not think of myself as a savior, or someone who is coming to rescue these people. I get as much as I give if not more, on every trip I have received kindness, love, and joy from the patients we work with. Getting life into perspective is so important because in America we can get caught up in the desire for more stuff, more money, more whatever it is that you feel you need, and we lose the joy that life can bring.

- Julie D.


2017 Winning Entry

"In college, I plan on pursuing a Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a Deaf Studies minor. This scholarship will help me pursue my career goals."

- Joy Z, 2017 Scholarship Winner

Introduction

Iwas drawn to the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz Scholarship because your firm helps families. My family needs your help to afford college. I have wanted to go to Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) since Eighth Grade. The school has a special aura that you can feel the moment you step onto campus. I've felt it every single time I've visited for track camp, open houses, or for Big 10 football games. Penn Staters are like family, whether they're current students or alumni. As an adopted Chinese Jewish American, I felt safe and comfortable on campus. I could see myself at this college. With the cost of college being what it is, I need help to lessen the amount I will need to borrow in order to achieve my dreams. This scholarship will help me pursue my career goals.

My career goal is to become a Speech and Language Pathologist. A Speech and Language Pathologist is a person who is trained to help individuals with communication disorders, cognitive communication disorders, and swallowing disorders. According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, a communication disorder is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, and graphic symbol systems. A few of the ways that a Speech and Language Pathologist can help include working with the individual to eliminate a stutter, improving their articulation, or minimizing their foreign accent. Speech and Language Pathologists can work in schools, hospitals, or clinics with patients of all ages.

Short Essay

Consider this statistic from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: “Of the 7.7 percent of children with a communication or swallowing disorder, 5 percent have speech problems; 3.3 percent have language problems; 1.4 percent have voice difficulties; and 0.9 percent have swallowing difficulties. Of the affected, more than a third (34 percent) of children ages 3–10 and about a quarter (25.4 percent) of children ages 11–17 have more than one of these disorders.” Communication includes reading and writing, which are essential parts of learning. Often times, children with communication disorders need extra support in school.

"I want to be able to help these children because I believe that every child deserves to have the skills they need to succeed in life."
- Joy Z.

I want to be able to help these children because I believe that every child deserves to have the skills they need to succeed in life. The ability to communicate is something that many people take for granted. It's hard to think of what it would be like to constantly struggle to communicate. I feel that I can make a difference in these children's lives. Communication disorders can affect an individual's entire life.

I'm in the process of learning American Sign Language (ASL). The course includes learning about Deaf Culture, part of which is the debate about whether or not to give children cochlear implants. Contrary to what many people believe, cochlear implants do not restore a deaf person's hearing 100%. People who receive implants don't automatically learn how to speak either. Learning to speak takes time, practice, and support. As a Speech and Language Pathologist, I can help to teach them how to speak. I want to be able to give the families of these children options, because most deaf children do not have parents who know ASL. This means parents cannot communicate with their child and vice versa. Parents can raise their child to be bilingual (ASL is a separate language from English) or they can focus on speech. Either way, my job will be to educate them about their options, and help them to reach their goals.

"I want to be a Speech and Language Pathologist because I know I can make a difference."
- Joy Z.

In college, I plan on pursuing a Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a Deaf Studies minor. This will provide me with the first step to becoming a Speech and Language Pathologist. This will also prepare me for starting my Masters degree program, which is required to be a practicing Speech and Language Pathologist. As well as that, a minor in Deaf Studies will help me to learn more about the Deaf community. I want to be the bridge between the Deaf and hearing communities, and I know I need to learn more about the Deaf community before I try to teach others about it. My undergraduate and graduate work will help me to achieve my goals.

I want to be a Speech and Language Pathologist because I know I can make a difference. I'll be able to provide the support that children with communication disorders need. I can be the voice for those who might not always be able to say their opinions on their own. I hope to educate the hearing and Deaf communities about each other, because by focusing on a person's ability rather than disability, we can achieve far more than we ever would've thought possible.

- Joy Z.